After starring in countless illustrated kids books for 25 years, world-famous adventurer Waldo ditched his signature striped shirt-cap combo, got LASIK surgery and fled from the public eye. Last we heard, he was living in his native England (where he’s known as Wally) and working on a brooding memoir titled, Found Then Lost: How Aimlessly Wandering the Earth While Wearing the Same Weird Outfit Each Day Messed Me Up Pretty Good. Please respect his privacy and don’t go hunting for him. But not to worry, superfans—the ex-peripatetic lives on at Waldo-themed events around the world, including the following fun runs, bar crawls, and scavenger hunts. So don your red and white stripes and oval specs and channel your inner nomad.
Where’s Wally? Fun Run, Birmingham, England
Organized by The National Literary Trust, a non-profit dedicated to raising literacy levels in the U.K., this annual fund-raiser invites participants to dress up like Waldo and run 5 or 10 kilometers through beautiful Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham.
Saturday, October 4, 2014; Registration includes a Where’s Wally? costume.
Waldo 100K, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
This ultramarathon takes place each year in and around Willamette Pass Ski Area in western Oregon and is actually named for a lake that runners pass during the grueling race. But participants have been known to dress up like Waldo, and one year someone nailed a plush Waldo doll to the Fuji Mountain Trail sign that sits on part of the course. Plus, we like to think that in a different life, Waldo would have crushed an ultra.
August 16, 2014.
Where’s Waldo? Bar Crawl, Charlotte, North Carolina
No fictional character (not even Santa) is immune to the themed bar crawl, and this one is the mother of all Waldo pub hops, occurring each January at the Epicentre mall in downtown Charlotte. Though it draws hundreds of bespectacled revelers, it has yet to break the Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as Waldo in one place, set in 2011 when 3,872 Waldos gathered in the streets of Dublin in 2011.
Waldo NYC Explorer Pass, New York City
Heading to Gotham with the kids this summer? Nab this pass, which gives holders discounted access to sites Waldo himself would love to explore around the city, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Empire State Building.
Other Waldo-themed events:
Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt; Raleigh, North Carolina; July 2014
Waldo Month; Bethel, Connecticut; July 2014
Waldo Waldo 5K charity run; Colorado Springs, Colorado; October 26, 2014